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Provinces free to import anti-coronavirus vaccine, says NCOC chief Asad Umar

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Nationwide Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) chief Asad Umar has asserted that provinces and personal entities are allowed to import anti-coronavirus vaccines authorized by the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP).

“From day 1, the NCOC has adopted the policy that the federal government shall not have the monopoly to import anti-coronavirus vaccines,” the federal minister informed Shahzad Iqbal in Geo Information’ Naya Pakistan present on Saturday. “Provinces and private entities including hospitals have been allowed to import the vaccines that are approved by DRAP.”

Umar was responding to Sindh Well being Minister Dr Azra Pechuho looking for the federal authorities’s permission to immediately negotiate with international governments and personal corporations for vaccine procurement.

“Once a vaccine has been approved by the regulatory authority, it can be imported by provinces as well as private hospitals,” he defined. “In fact, I would encourage not only Sindh but other provincial governments to import it as well.”

Learn extra: DRAP approves AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine

Procurement and distribution

The NCOC chief mentioned the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has already been okayed by DRAP and China’s Sinopharm was additionally authorized in precept by a technical committee. “We only need to decide under which name will Sinopharm vaccine be distributed. The verdict will be out by Tuesday.”

Umar mentioned in the meanwhile there are two anti-coronavirus vaccines authorised for emergency use whereas part III scientific trials of the third vaccine by CanSino can be accomplished by the primary week of February. “Once the results for the CanSino vaccine are out, and if they are positive, then that anti-dote too will be available in Pakistan.”

The federal minister mentioned Pakistan had additionally signed up for the World Well being Group’s COVAX Facility some eight months again and was anticipating the primary consignment within the first quarter of this yr. “We have multiple sources for the anti-coronavirus vaccines slated for delivery in February-March. So the vaccines will be procured and rolled out in the first quarter of this year.”

He defined that healthcare employees and other people aged 65 and above can be vaccinated within the first part. “Initially, it was proposed that government officials be vaccinated in the first phase as well but we rejected that recommendation.”

“We are in the advance stages of a vaccine drive. Some 300,000 healthcare workers have been registered to be vaccinated. The healthcare workers who will be administrating the vaccine have also been trained.”

Umar mentioned the Chinese language authorities was facilitating Sinopharm vaccine doses for Pakistan. “We have provided them the number of healthcare workers and they will let us know about the first batch of vaccines by Tuesday.”

Associated: Bilawal says Pakistan will lose good points made in coronavirus combat with delayed vaccine

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